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Are We Having Fun Yet?

Some C-Span TV monitors waiting for something to report.
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, I was patting myself on the back for going to sleep at a reasonable time right up until the moment I freshened my drink around 1 a.m. I’d told my wife that I would not be coming to bed very late, because I really believed I wouldn’t. I knew that the various roaring channels of political media that I had directed at the precise center of my brain would not tell me anything new for some time, and also that everything they would tell me between that moment and that far-off moment of learning would almost certainly just make me feel worse. My thought process, in leaning into that for another hour and change, was in its entirety but what if that didn’t happen. Election nights are great nights for desperate bargaining and rationalization, and to the extent there was anything great about this one, it was that. I woke up again at 5:15. My brain had simply switched itself back on to Run Through Some Scenarios. A little while later, we did the podcast.

Drew’s evening had been better, because he was sober and because he’d slept more, but neither of us was in a fantastic place when we recorded. We weren’t despondent, either, but the narrow hope for an electoral repudiation of Trumpism was well and truly gone by then, and had left behind just the possibility that Trump himself might be gotten out of the fucking paint. This felt, then and now, sort of like what the Democrats had been trying for. There have been worse elections in this nation’s history, by far, but it’s hard to think of one that was this dishearteningly facile and dispiritingly promise-free. Running against one of the worst people of his generation, in the middle of a pandemic that has killed nearly a quarter-million people and sickened and otherwise immiserated far more, amid a shock of widespread institutional collapses, the opposition party seemingly felt comfortable trying to back into power. They may yet pull it off, but I have not found it easy to feel good about, and don’t imagine that it will have troubled my sleep for the last time.

So a lot of the podcast is about all that. But it was not just that, because life is not just that. There was an appreciation of Bobby Engram and his fantasy-ownable cohort, Funbag questions toilet-related and otherwise, the perils of dating the child of a psychotherapist, a frank assessment of bidet futures, and an elevator pitch from me on a Kevin James television project and a Terrence Malick reboot project that I expect will earn me millions. Barring that, though, we’ll be back next week to talk much less about current events and much more about literally anything else. It will be nice, to think about things like that.

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